A year ago, the medical records department at the hospital I worked in was instructed to recover money unclaimed from road traffic accidents.

Bills were sent to people who had been treated at the hospital - actions I felt could only add to the victims' distress, especially if they had thought the whole incident was behind them.

I am relieved to see, therefore, that the recently published Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Bill implies that victims of accidents should not be sent bills, so that trusts will not be landed with the extra administrative burden of processing the claims. Both these actions are the responsibility of insurance companies.

What it does suggest, however, is a national framework of charges - something we must be wary of if we are to remain a public health service.

Nick Forbes

General management trainee

Newcastle upon Tyne